Blake Griffin is a great dunker. There is no arguing that. In the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Griffin had two memorable dunks, but only one of them was great, and it was NOT the one with the car and the choir. That dunk only served to prove that the NBA planned on Griffin being in the finals and winning it all along.
Not since Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and the rest of the Harlem Globetrotters toured with the Washington Generals, has the outcome of a basketball “contest” been so anti-climactic.
Griffin was the Harlem Globetrotters to Javale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka’s Washington Generals. McGee, DeRozan and Ibaka never had a chance, which is a shame, since they all were impressive in their own right.
When Griffin’s very ordinary second dunk in the first round scored a 46, even the most casual fan had to suspect that the fix was in. That dunk followed Ibaka’s creative and impressive dunk which only scored a 45.
Once Griffin was in the finals, with the fans deciding the winner, there was no way that anyone else was going to win unless Griffin totally missed his dunks. The whole contest ended up being a mockery.
Griffin’s coach, Kenny Smith, served no purpose on the court other than to ramble on endlessly. During the early round, his puffery about Griffin not needing props like the others ended up looking downright stupid when Griffin rolled a car onto the court for his final dunk. The car was bad enough, but the choir that came onto the court as Griffin’s supporting cast turned a supposed sporting event into a joke.
Even the camera crew didn’t seem to know what to do with the choir, as they missed Griffin’s running start while showing a choir singer on camera.
While Smith was somehow able to orchestrate a pre-dunk standing ovation for Griffin which surprisingly included the judges, it doesn’t seem like everyone bought into the hype. Charles Barkley openly mocked what was going on, serving as the voice of many fans watching on TV.
It came as no shock to anyone when Griffin was announced as the winner of the contest. The obvious favoritism that was shown towards Griffin has turned this competition into an exhibition going forward.
LeBron James has resisted showcasing his skills in the dunk contest, but if he ever changes his mind and participates, they should just present the trophy to him before he or his competitors attempt their first dunk, since the presentation is nothing more than a formality anyway.